06-21-18

Jeff Kruth returns from his fellowship in Germany

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CUDC Urban Designer, Jeff Kruth,  just returned from a fellowship awarded by the American Council on Germany. Jeff spent nearly a month traveling in cities across Germany examining the role of urban development policies since German re-unification. Economic and physical restructuring of the city plays a crucial role in the configuration of contemporary German identity and social practices.

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In particular, Jeff looked at peripheral housing estates built during the GDR era. Patterns of demolition and re-investment, privatization of various housing estates, and an influx of new refugee populations make cities like Berlin and Dessau grounds for new social and spatial practices.

Similarly, Jeff looked at adaptive reuse projects in the western part of Germany, and in particular in the Ruhr Valley. The Ruhr Valley is similar to the US “Rust Belt,” in that it has undergone tremendous economic and demographic restructuring. Many of the adaptive reuse projects acknowledge the country’s industrial past, while signaling a transition to cultural and immaterial forms of production.

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Jeff will further the work developed in Germany through continued transatlantic partnerships and research at the CUDC in the coming year.

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